Saturday, January 7, 2012

1st Half. 2011 Family Christmas Gift Wrapping Contest

A few years ago our family decided to draw names for the family Christmas celebration. In order to add a little excitement we added a gift wrapping challenge.  Each year the gifts have gotten more interesting and elaborate, this year was no exception.   (If you would like to see previous years look in the January sections of my blog..... you can see how the the creativity has evolved. )

This will take a while so fix yourself a snack, grab something to drink, put up your feet and enjoy.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

The first gift requires a little background.  Last October Heather wanted to take part in the Warrior Dash Marathon in St Louis. It's a 5 K run with 12 obstacles .... wiggling under barbed wire, climbing up cargo nets, crawling through mud, walking across balance beams, climbing over walls, jumping over fire.... you get the idea, not everyones idea of fun. The only person she could convince to do it with her was Cory.... although Amanda and Roger did attend to give moral support (and poke fun at) the contestants... and to take photos.  It's my understanding that Amanda spent most of the time grumbling about "being cold"  while Heather and Cory were crawling through mud and being spayed with hoses.

 This is a photo of the two "warriors"

The obstacle that Cory dreaded most was the fire pits... Heather said he jumped really high and cleared the fires with room to spare. Looks pretty scary to me!

Now for the gift. Heather drew Cory's name so she made him a trophy commemorating his mighty leap.

She sculpted Cory in polymer clay and has him leaping over the fire.  The plaque on the front reads "Cory Smith, The Ultimate Warrior, 2011"  The actual gift is in the bottom of the trophy.

Close up of PC Cory. She did a marvelous job, it looks just  like Cory.

Next up is Cory... this year he drew Sarah's name.  Some of you may remember a couple years ago Sarah had Cory's name and she won the contest with her rendition of "Cadaver Dog Darby"

I tried adding a link  but it didn't work so if you would like to see "Cadaver Dog Darby" go to Jan 12 2010 on this blog.  For those who haven't seen it, it's worth taking a look.

Anyway Cory's gift wrapping this year is payback for poor Darby... who, by the way is alive and well. Be forewarned that Sarah and Cory are a little weird... and not for the faint of heart.

Sarah is a college student taking classes to become an X-ray tech.... she was on a waiting list for a  year before she got into the program and after a semester she discovered she hates it (she is changing her major next semester!) .... mostly she hates the enemas and other other bodily functions..... I tell you this to prepare you for the "gift"

As you can see Sarah's gift is wrapped as a large paper mache posterior..... I will leave it to you imagination on how she had to retrieve her gift.  "Yes", I do have photos and "No" I will not show them to you.   The butterfly tattoo is cool.

Now let's move on, shall we?

Sarah's wrapped a gift for Eric.  A couple years ago Eric and Brad went on European tour with Eric's parents. While there Eric became interested in the British Royal Family, he now collects tins and china related to the "royals'.  Sarah borrowed one of my antique dress forms and fashioned a paper mache head of Queen Elizabeth.  She found several tins and china items, one was in the head and the others throughout the body.

Here is Eric helping the Queen wave to the on lookers.  Eric wanted to save the head but unfortunately the only was to get to  the gift was pull the head apart.... poor Queen! Lily latched on to the Queen's crown and pearls.

Eric drew Patty's name.  Patty and Eugene love wine, one of their favorite past times is to visit the local wineries... and of course sample the wine.  Eric got her some beautiful ruby red wine glasses and concealed them in a giant wine bottle.

Here is a close-up of the label.  Patty's full name is Pathena... hence the name on the label.

I will show you the gift Patty wrapped later. She had Roger's name. 

Roger drew my name.  As my friends know last summer I had a little mishap in the kitchen... just a little grease fire that damaged the stove and lit the cabinet on fire.   No big deal, I put it out myself, the repairs took a couple month, alls well that ends well....  I got  a new stove and kitchen re-do. 

The gift wrapping was in the form of a stove with a pan of grease blazing away.... one little fire and they never let you forget ... sheez!!  

The oven door opens and the gift... the Dremel Stylus that was on my Santa list, was concealed inside.... wrapped in brochures from the local old folks home.   How subtle is that?

Next please!

My gift was for grandson Nick.  When Nick was just a little guy we had the first Nentendo with the orginal Mario Bros. game.  We loved that game. He would sit on my lap and we played for hours at a time.  I pressed the button that made Mario move and Nick controlled the "jump" button.  I miss that little guy, he was so sweet... he's still sweet but he's grown up now and to big to sit on my lap.

My gift was wrapped as a section of the original Mario Bros game.  I had big plans, I did research, I found photos, I found music, I had it pictured in my head.   I wanted Mario to move along a track... with the original music playing... the track would allow him to jump into the tube, slide down a wire, land on a button that would turn on the lower chamber music, the lights would come on and everyone would be sooooo impressed. Sounds like a winner to me!!

 I explained my plans to grandson Brandon, who is a member of the high school Botball team  and Roger who teaches computer science and is working on his PhD.... both nodded and gave me a knowing, lets humor the old girl.... both said they would give it some thought.   Easy peasy right?  I don't think I was asking to much, do you?

So here is my non-mechanical gift wrapping.  I made the Mario and Mushroom guy with polymer clay. Heather helped me duct tape and draw the graphics... the inside does light up... all in all it turned out pretty well.... no thanks to the two "you know who's".  And Nick liked it, that's what counts.

P.S. Duct tape is a wonderful thing. Did you know it comes in a wide array of colors and now in prints too?  Several of the gift wrappers used my supply of duct tape.  Heather laughed at me when I bought a roll of every color.... ha... who's laughing now!

Here it is lit up... if you look closely you can see Mario on top of the green tube.

Moving right along.

Nick wrapped a gift for his granddad.  Lynn likes old Hollywood detective "film noir"  movies so Nick got him several DVD's and the book "The Best American Noir of the Century"

The gift has Bogart being smacked on the head with a present, the others are concealed inside his jacket.

Time for Intermission

That concludes the first half of the gift wrapping saga... tomorrow I will start with Lynn's gift for Eugene.  The 2nd half has more traditional style gifts..... and of course the Winner.... so please stay tuned!!


  1. I always love to see your family's creative Christmas wrappings. They're amazing again this year!

  2. Thank you Alice, I am always impressed with what the come up with.

  3. What a fun tradition. I love what everyone comes up with. Your family sure has a lot of fun and creative ideas.

  4. Spectacular, as usual! I love seeing your yearly wrappings, but sometimes I think I need a kind of "genealogy chart" to sort out your descendants. Obviously, creativity is in the genes. -- Think about you often, and your ears must burn whenever I get together with Ted (who now lives in town).

  5. Thank you Sandy, I love sharing the photos with all of you.

  6. LOL, thanks Jacque, sometimes I need a chart myself! I think about you often too. I was thrilled to learn Ted is back in town, give him my love.

  7. LOL, I totally enjoyed my tea-time this morning with your funny saga. BJ, your Mario Bros. gift is GENIUS!! I'm sure you're the winner. :) Thanks for sharing, I'll be smiling all day. Hugs.

  8. Hugs to you too Jackie, glad you enjoyed the saga!

  9. What a wonderful idea! I always loved wrapping the presents myself and loved to do different things. But your family has elevated this to an artform all its' own! Love it!

  10. Thank you Kathy, it has definitely been a hit with our family.

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